A Nighttime Potty Training Method To Use Only If You Are Crazy


http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-sleeping-child-image10317517There are lots of things is nothing more satisfying than not having to buy diapers anymore. It puts a heck of a lot more money in your pocket and less waste in our landfills. Neither of those are the reasons why I went for the no pull-up nighttime option, pretty much from day one of potty training.

When my first child had his 3 year checkup with his pediatrician we were in the beginning stages of potty training. His pediatrician advised me not to have him wear pull-ups at night and to go cold turkey which is how we got down this road in the first place. As a first time mom I said, “Okay, if you say so”. Not thinking I should perhaps fact check this with some of my mom friends.

I blearily fumbled along through soaked sheets, soaked mattresses and endless loads of laundry. But you know what, it didn’t last that long. It was a lot shorter than I likely would have had him wear pull-ups. It was so not that bad, that I ended up doing it for all three kids.

Here are some tips for making this manageable and not the complete nightmare that it could be. It took me until this last time with child #3 to really have this down pat.

  1. Layer mattress protector/fitted sheet/mattress protector/fitted sheet on their bed (it makes changing sheets in the middle of the night a breeze)
  2. Limit evening beverage consumption
  3. Have your child go to the bathroom twice before bedtime (even if it is only 20 minutes apart)
  4. Take your child to the bathroom at least once before you go to bed (I have a child that I had to do this twice for, for a while)
  5. Cross your fingers and say your prayers every night, just kidding, that totally doesn’t work
  6. Change sheets as a team, its faster. One changes the kid while the other strips the bed

#1 and #6 make the whole thing seem intimidating, don’t they? It is more just to let you know that accidents are inevitable for a short period of time, at least. But it also doesn’t have to be that big of a deal.

Or you know, you could be like everybody else and just have them wear pull-ups. Some genius invented them to save us sleep deprived parents from the hassle of waking up at night like you had a newborn all over again (which I happened to have each time I was potty training so its not like I was getting sleep anyway).

Am I suggesting you try this? Not really. I’m just giving you an alternative in case you need to change things up or feel like living on the edge. Knowledge is power people.

Bonus Tips: Traveling this summer with potty training kids? If I know what size bed my kids are going to be staying in then I’ll bring a mattress protector with me. If you don’t have a ton of space in your luggage you can also buy travel size mattress protectors. In a pinch I use a garbage bag and put it under the fitted sheet just so we aren’t the guests that ruin people’s mattresses.

What advice do you have for anyone that is new to potty training? What worked for you?

Happy Training Everyone!





  1. Erin says

    Found your article today and have been doing exactly your routine for about 2 months now. Including the layering of the sheets and pads. Funny. Great minds think alike I guess.
    In your experience , how long does this go on for? My daughter is 5 (!!!!) and will sleep through it all if I’m too late going to bed one night and don’t take her to the bathroom soon enough. She’ll be shivering in her own puddle of pee but will not wake up.

    • says

      Hi Erin! Great minds DO think alike! So happy to know I’m not the only crazy person out there. Okay, you and I are going through exactly the same thing but I’m just a little bit ahead of you. My daughter is 6 1/2, sleeps like a log, and will rarely wake up if she wets the bed. I have noticed that things are starting to get much better, but this is only recent. I still have to take her in the evening, whereas my older son I was able to stop with him around the time that he turned 6. But he is a camel and she is not (even in the daytime). With my daughter I don’t have to be as punctual as I did before, previously if I took her to the bathroom at 10:05 I would have missed the window and need to change her bedding. Now I’m safe if I get to her sometime before I go to bed. From everything I’ve read it is still common at 6 and 7, beyond that it is supposed to stop. So much of it has to do with the fact that their bodies grow faster than their bladders so they are hydrating for a bigger kid but have nowhere to hold it. Somehow this information made me feel a lot better about things. I wish I had more definitive information for you, but fingers crossed that we’re out of this sooner rather than later! She keeps talking about wanting to do sleep overs but I don’t see how that would be possible at this point?? Take care and Shine On. Sarah

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